Vitacost.com

HEADLINE NEWS

George Zimmerman and the Will of God
(BET News)

Jennifer Hudson's Family Killer Sentenced to Life
(BET News)

Training Black Women to Have It All
(BET News)

NAACP Develops HIV Manual for Black Churches
(BET News)

Felony Disenfranchisement
(BET News)

Why You Need to Know CPR
(BET News)

Proposed Cuts for McNair Scholars Program
(Black America Web)

Shrinking Stomach May Boost Risk for Booze Abuse
(Black America Web)

Childhood Obesity Affects Math and Social Skills
(Black America Web)

Calorie Count for Children Can Curb Obesity
(BET News)

Do Women Feel Stress Effects More than Men?
(Black America Web)

School Meals to Get More Veggies, Whole Grains
(Black America Web)

Government Study Finds Young People Are Suffering More Strokes
(BET News)

Health

Feeling the Affects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Obese Woman
Posted by Connie Turner on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Being a nurse for the past 12 years, I have seen many different diseases and how they have affected people’s lives. Which one has had the most impact on me? I would have to say Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. This is how we are able to move our body parts voluntarily. With ALS, the motor neurons become damaged and the communication between the brain, spinal cord and muscles is lost. The person eventually becomes paralyzed. Once the breathing muscles are affected the person cannot breathe on their own and they may need to be put on a ventilator (breathing machine). The senses of sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell are not affected. So the mind is still intact.

So, if you can imagine for a second, you are this person who was once independent with everything. You have children; you go to work every day. You’re taking care of your family and living a normal life. Within a 2-year timeframe, you have this disease that has progressed to the point where you are now at home on a breathing machine. You are unable to move any part of your body, unable to talk, and now you have to depend on someone else in order to survive. Your mind is intact. You know what you want. You know what you need. But you have to depend on someone else to figure it out. Imagine that.

I work with ALS patient’s every day in their homes. I can’t help but have a special place in my heart for these patients, their families and their children, who might now be taking care of Mommy or Daddy. I feel very blessed to be able to participate in care of these patients; to be able to help find ways to communicate to with them so that they can have what they want and what they need; to be able to give them the best quality of life that we can. If there is one thing good thing that I can say about this terrible disease, it’s that it doesn’t take away their souls.

Approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed in the U.S. per year. The life expectancy is about 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis. Many people have lived longer; some as long as 20 years.

Symptoms may include:

Riluzole® is the first treatment drug approved by the FDA in 1995 to alter the course of ALS. It has shown scientifically to prolong the ALS life span by at least a few months, and to slow down the progression of the disease. ALSA.org

Recent Articles

Health

Managing High Blood Pressure

Feeling the Affects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Women's Health

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

African American women and obesity

Ever get the feeling you were being watched?

Men's Health

African-American men and prostate cancer

Kid's Health

Keep Your Child Healthly From the Beginning

Is your child getting enough rest?

Childhood Obesity in the Black Community

 

Advertising

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC